Sunday, September 23, 2007

Colorado's Two Official State Songs.

Colorado has two official state songs. "Where the Columbines Grow" was adopted by the state legislature in 1915. Here's the song's second verse:
The bison is gone from the upland,
The deer from the canyon has fled,
The home of the wolf is deserted,
The antelope moans for his dead,
The war whoop re-echoes no longer,
The Indian's only a name,
And the nymphs of the grove in their loneliness rove,
But the columbine blooms just the same.
It's been pointed out to me, recently, that a sense of loss--that things, perhaps, aren't as good as they once were--permeates my book, A Western Capitol Hill. Well, hell, I could make the same claim regarding Colorado's first official state song.

Colorado's second official state song was adopted in 2007. "Rocky Mountain High" was written by the man who changed his given surname to that of Colorado's state capital: John Denver. The man who, it can be argued, did more to promote the image of Colorado in the 20th Century than anyone else.

But that doesn't mean the song's passage was without controversy.

According to a Denver Post article:

The resolution passed 50-11 in the House. Representatives defeated an amendment from Rep. Debbie Stafford, R-Aurora, that would have specified the song is about Colorado's elevation and "in no way reflects or encourages" drug use.

Sen. Bob Hagedorn, the Aurora Democrat who sponsored the measure in the Senate, accused his dissenting colleagues of making too much of the lyrics, which include: "friends around the campfire and everybody's high."

Whether or not "Rocky Mountain High" refers to cannabis sativa, the columbine blooms just the same.

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